Urban resistance leader detained in Mandalay

In a public statement, the military council accused the Natsoe Urban Guerrilla Group, to which the detainee belonged, of shooting and killing several people in Mandalay’s Patheingyi Township

The military arrested the leader of a Mandalay-based urban guerrilla group in the city’s Chanayethazan Township last weekend, according to resistance groups and other local sources. 

A local woman said Nyein Chan Aung, the leader of the Natsoe Urban Guerrilla Group, was arrested by junta soldiers in plain clothes outside a clinic in Hay Mar Za La Ward on the morning of July 8. 

“He was arrested in front of the clinic. We didn’t even realise what had happened at first. He wasn’t being treated at the clinic yet, he was arrested while giving his information,” the woman said.

A woman identified as Pa Pa Win was arrested along with Nyein Chan Aung. 

A member of the Mandalay guerrilla group confirmed the arrest had occurred while Nyein Chan Aung was going to the clinic to treat an illness, but could not confirm whether the woman detained with him was also a member of the group.

The military council released a statement regarding the arrest on Wednesday, saying the Natsoe Urban Guerrilla Group had “not only murdered people but also conducted explosive attacks in Mandalay and outside.”

The military council’s statement named people allegedly killed by the Natsoe Guerrilla Group in Mandalay in 2022, including a junta-affiliated administrator in Yae Htwet village, the supervisor of a utility office in Nan U Lwin village, and a hundred household leader from Kan Thar village, all in Patheingyi Township. 

The statement also accused the group’s members of disguising themselves as monks and firing on junta soldiers at a market in Patheingyi Township in April, and said the military was looking for 18 guerrillas who were still at large. 

One junta soldier had been killed and two had been injured in the shooting at the market. Shooting attacks by urban guerrillas have continued in Mandalay even after a spate of nearly 100 arrests in the middle of last year. 

In June, two women and three men belonging to the Urban Guerrilla Force-Mandalay were arrested. Two of the detainees, aged 27 and 35, were killed while in custody at an interrogation centre only days after their arrest.

“Their families asked the military if they were still alive and were told to hold a wake for them. They only lasted two or three days at the interrogation centre,” said a source with connections to the urban guerrilla group.

The whereabouts and other details about the remaining detainees are unknown.

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